According to research, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and the human brain is believed to process images within 13 milliseconds which is 60,000 times faster than text and that is why humans love to consume and share visual content.
As a creator, adding visuals to your content helps your viewers have a better understanding of your products and services which in turn increases your visibility and yields massive sales for your products.
In this article, we will be showing you some sites you can leverage to get free images for your daily content.
What are Stock Photos?
Stock photos are images already available on the internet for use. However, oftentimes, they are licensed to be used for specific use cases. Depending on the license type, you can use it commercially or strictly for personal use.
Difference between a Creatives Common License, public domain, and royalty-free images
Before using any images online, are all stock photos free? The answer is no. Some websites require outright payments and others while being free, require certain permissions before use.
Some websites will allow you to use stock images for your personal content alone, while others don’t mind if you use these images for commercial purposes as long as you give due credit.
There are different types of images classified based on how you can use them. These are;
A creative commons license
This is a public copyright license that allows you to distribute a person’s copyrighted work. It gives authors the right to give other people access to share and use their works either for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
A public domain
Public domains are a compilation of all creative works that are not protected by copyright law. This means that you can use these works without giving credit to the owner because the author’s right may have expired, terminated, or inapplicable and this gives you the right to use any work without permission.
These are images that come with a license that business owners can purchase for a one-time fee. Once you purchase this license, you can use the images whenever you want because there won’t be a need for renewal.
The differences between these three license types are:
- Creative commons license is available for distribution once you give credit to the author and abide by the stated restrictions that come from the author’s license.
- Public domain is free and can be used by anyone, for any purpose because there are no restrictions or rights to intellectual property.
- Royalty-free images can be used over and over again once you buy a license and abide by the instructions.
So, when choosing an image, ensure you verify what category it belongs to avoid cases of paying for damages or issuance of a cease and desist order due to copyright infringement.
Top 15 Websites for Stock Images, Photos and Videos
Need to create a design for your next social media post, or an ad online? Perhaps you want to add a cover to your blog post or make a stunning presentation. Here are 15 websites where you can get stock images for free
Pixabay is a community of creatives that has over 3 million+ high-quality stock images, videos, and Music. It contains a database of images, vector graphics, and much more which can be filtered by orientation, media type, etc.
It offers varieties of Royalty Free images, videos, music, and so on. All released content is under the site license which makes it safe to use for any purpose including commercial without giving credit to the owner.
Burst is a free stock image platform that is managed by Shopify. It contains numerous numbers of Royalty Free images that are suitable for the content of bloggers, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, and so on.
All photos on this website are free for commercial use but it is advisable to pay attention to the license under each image because some are covered by the CCO license and others by the Shopify license.
Pexels was founded in 2014 and it contains over 3.2 million free stock photos and videos. It has a search function that allows you to find the exact image you want. For example, you can search for “free pictures of birthday cakes and balloons” and you’d get the exact results with options to choose from.
Images on Pexels can be used for personal and business purposes without having to give due credit to the owner. You can also filter images by colour and orientation and it contains the history of photos you have used previously in case you need them.
4. Canva stock images
While Canva is popular for being a design tool, especially for flyers, presentations, business cards, invitation cards, lesson plans, and more, it also has a free stock photo library.
Here, you can get thousands of high-quality photos for your designs. These images cut across plain backgrounds, food, people, businesses and so much more. Although the images are free to use, you can only use them within a design on Canva.
This is a website that has over 28 million downloadable graphic resources and a search engine that helps you find high-quality photos, vector images, PSD files, and Illustrations.
It is suitable for personal or professional use and it has filters that can search any type of resource such as colour, orientation, style, etc.
Unsplash is a platform that uploads 10 royalty-free photography every 10 days under the Unsplash license. Images on this tool are free and can be used for book cover design, creation of graphics, artwork, Instagram photos, and so on.
It is easy to use because no permission is required and as a photographer, It exposes you to opportunities to work as a freelance photographer in any business organization that might need your service when you share photographs consistently.
Kaboompics contains pictures that are most suitable for Instagram and other social media platforms. It has a very beautiful and unique royalty-free photo from Karolina Grabowska which makes it stand out above the others.
The only thing here is that, unlike others, it can not be redistributed but it allows you to search by colours and provides you with a complementary palette.
8. Free images
Free images have a large database of unique free photos, vector graphics, illustrations, clip art, and over 300,000 images online.
It shares and provides numerous photography that can be used by different people all over the world. It can be adopted for personal or commercial use because no attribution is required.
Free images also have royalty-free images, premium vectors, and premium clipart. In some cases, their license agreement restricts use in certain areas.
Flickr is home to more than 50 billion photos. It uploads pictures online and presents them. Flickr has free images and some of them can be used for commercial projects.
It permits users to showcase their favourite videos, photos, and content to the world. Flickr allows users to release photos and make them available for use.
Select “Commercial use and mods allowed” under “Any license” to find the commercial images you need.
10. Getty Images
This supplies stock images, editorial photography, videos, music and so. It targets three categories of markets – the creative professionals like graphic designers, the media like the online printing press, and corporate like in-house design and communication departments.
It has a commercial website where you can search images, purchase usage rights, and download images whose price may vary according to resolution.
This is a collection of free high-resolution pictures that can be used for either personal or commercial purposes. All photos are free therefore, copyright restrictions are inapplicable.
Stockvault is also a site that is filled with a collection of images, wallpaper, and textures. It has a search engine where you can browse what kind of image you want.
It is suitable for marketers or designers and like others, you don’t need to give attribution I.e credit to the owner of the images you use except if it was included in the license that the image carries.
13. Foodies feed
Foodiesfeed is a site where you can check and download any free images relating to cuisine. It contains a search box for easy accessibility and you can also make use of tags to find what kind of food images you need.
This is a free site that is loaded with royalty-free images and even a wide range of wallpapers and background images that can be used for your brand website or blog. This site is also suitable because it requires no attribution to the owner of the images.
StockSnap is also a site where you can select high-resolution and free stock images. It contains a search tool where you can easily type what kind of image you need and it also tracks views and numbers of downloads for easy accessibility to trendy images.
It adds hundreds of images daily and no attribution is required for any of the images you might decide to use.
There are endless lists of sites where you can get free stock images but the list above covers mainly the best that can give you the kind of result you desire. Which site would you prefer to try out?
As a creator, using stock images for your products and content is just one step towards monetizing your craft. You can sell these digital products online and automate the process so you can focus on building your brand. Start with your own free Creathor Shop today.